Faces of Death Is Getting A Reboot

By RodneyHatfieldJr for Movies

The fakeumentary Faces of Death is classic horror that left movie fans in disbelief as it showed various ways humans can die in graphic detail. The studio has reportedly just picked up the rights to the faux-documentary that was originally released in 1978 and became a cult hit at the time, spawning multiple sequels in the following years. I very much doubt it will even come close to the legendary status the original has.


Allow me to inform you from experience since I was a horror-seeking teen in the 80s (1986 to 1992). This was the original ‘Video Nasty'. I have written about the original before, so let me summarize it again. It was widely believed that the film showed actual deaths. It revealed grizzle scenes that were etched into your nightmares. It was widely held as a film that was beyond the X rating. As a result, most video rental stores did not distribute the film. Ordinarily, someone had a bootleg VHS copy that traveled around. Due to its graphic content, Faces of Death was banned and censored in many countries.


Whenever you wanted to scare(or emotionally scar) someone, we obtained a copy and showed it. It was likely the most shown forbidden film to the general public. And because it sustained such status, everyone wanted to watch it. And it became a cult classic. However now we know from interviews and such (SPOILERS), other than the news footage, all the rest are staged. Because this was years before everyone had Google at their fingertips, it wasn't easy to prove or disprove the authenticity of the footage, and its release generated waves of backlash across the world. Many places banned the movie outright, making the VHS release a highly sought item for movie collectors for many, many years. My friends and I figured it out after a half dozen viewing when we noticed some of the same people were in most of the scenes. But it didn’t stop us from rewatching it a million times. Controversy creates cash, so it was only natural for Faces of Death to continue as a series. Schwartz returned to work on another three sequels, each presenting new death scenes depicted as genuine footage of actual deaths caught on tape. Faces of Death V and Faces of Death VI would be released in the following years, consisting of footage gathered from the prior installments.


Now for Legendary's reboot. Isa Mazzei and Daniel Goldhaber, the team behind 2018's Cam, will respectively write and direct the new movie. Susan Montford and Don Murphy of Angry Films are producing, and Cory Kaplan will co-produce with Rick Benattar of BT Productions executive producing. John Burrud, who produced the original Faces of Death movies, is also on board to work on the reboot.

The original was released in 1978; the first Faces of Death was written and directed by John Alan Schwartz, though he used the pseudonyms "Conan LeCilaire" and "Alan Black" in the credits. Presented as a documentary, the movie features pathologist Francis B. Gross (Michael Carr) as the host, presenting the viewer with gruesome deaths caught on tape. Its gritty, low-budget nature only helped the footage feel more realistic, leading many to sincerely believe Faces of Death was a genuine snuff film.

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